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Russian hobbits

Lord of the Rings

Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books have a long history in the Soviet Union and Russia, from illegal translations in the 1960s to a film in the 1980s to an unauthorised retelling sympathetic to the orcs in the 1990s.

Lying stones

Lying Stones

In 1725 Professor Beringer of the University of W├╝rzburg dug up some extraordinary fossils: they contained the name of God written in Hebrew. A book, a court case, and the ruining of several careers ensued.

Dialect chain

Chain

Imagine a neighbour talking to a neighbour talking to a neighbour in a long chain of communication. At the start of the chain, they are speaking Portuguese. At the end of the same chain, they are speaking Italian.